Understanding the CBD Spectrum

Full spectrum, broad spectrum, and CBD isolate—what’s the difference? These labels are on CBD products, but what do they really mean? The labels are indicative of where the product lies on the CBD spectrum.


Full Spectrum

The cannabis plant contains hundreds of different types of cannabinoids. Full spectrum CBD includes all of these compounds. While the most common cannabinoids found in cannabis are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC, some of the other types of cannabinoids in the plant include:

  • CBGA
  • CBCA


These cannabinoids are in addition to trace amounts of terpenes and flavonoids. The combination of these cannabinoids produces the entourage effect. The theory behind the entourage effect is that all of the cannabinoids working together amplifies their effects. When the cannabinoids work together, or synergize, they all work better than they would on their own. Customers may choose a full spectrum CBD product for the entourage effect alone.


While full spectrum CBD does contain all of these cannabinoids, it’s important to note that the highest concentration of cannabinoid in your product will be CBD. Full spectrum CBD may contain THC, but by U.S. law, the product should contain less than 0.3% of THC. That means that the psychoactive effects that are frequently associated with THC will not be produced.

Broad Spectrum

Broad spectrum CBD only differs from full spectrum CBD because it doesn’t contain THC. Broad spectrum products contain the full range of cannabinoids—except THC. Broad spectrum CBD still produces the entourage effect. Customers that are wary of THC (even in miniscule amounts) but still want the entourage effect may choose broad spectrum CBD products.

CBD Isolate

CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD on the spectrum. The product only contains the cannabinoid CBD. There are no other cannabinoids, terpenes, or flavonoids in the product. Therefore, CBD isolate does not produce the entourage effect. It is tasteless and odorless, so in addition to not wanting all the other cannabinoids, customers may choose it for this reason.


The important thing to understand about the CBD spectrum is that no product is better than the other. Customers have different preferences based upon what works best for them, so carrying products all along the spectrum will keep everyone happy. We’d be happy to answer any other questions you may have!